A perfect Saturday for the old gold.
After midweek performances both sides will not want to revisit soon, the two teams met at Molineux, Spurs without defeat in their last five visits to Wolverhampton.
Looking at the lineups Wolves fans were excited to see a return for Pedro Neto hopefully coming into the team to fix our scoring woes.
Wolves: Sa – Semedo, Dawson, Kilman, Jonny – Lemina, Neves, Nunes – Neto, Costa, Sarabia.
Spurs: Forster- Romero, Lenglet, Davies, Porro, Perisic – Skipp, Hojbjerg – Kulusevski, Kane, Son.
The less said about this half the better from a Wolves attacking perspective, where players couldn’t string two passes together, constantly losing the ball in midfield and when being played up to the forward line. Wolves had one burst where Pedro Neto was involved beating his man playing it back to Nunes who played a dangerous cross but no one was in the middle and this attack easily handled by Spurs.
Otherwise the first half was all about Jose Sa and Mario Lemina from a Wolves perspective. Sa making a great save to deny Son and looking commanding in his area to stop a Perisic header. Lemina clearly instructed to follow Harry Kane around and he didn’t allow him a sniff. In a half with many stoppages and no real continued sequence of play, in the 28th minute Diego Costa was stretchered off and Raul replaced him.
The final minute of first half stoppage time saw Spurs best opportunity, hitting the bar from a Pedro Porro free kick. Porro who otherwise had been holding the ball on the throw-in line for the most of the half.
Collins had been warming up for a long period of the first half, it was clear Lopetegui had changes planned after the abysmal first half display; changes were much required to gain just some control. At half time Neto and Lemina (a shock) were withdrawn to be replaced by Collins and Adama to change our formation from 4-3-3 to a 3-4-3 matching Spurs in an attempt to stretch their back line and find more space.
The first half almost started as badly as possible as Wolves cried out for a foul, Son found himself one on one with Jose Sa only for the South Korean to blast the ball against the bar from a tight angle. The Molineux woodwork was being kind to the hosts.
Then you could immediately see Lopeteguis changes working as despite not creating endless chances Wolves gained more control of the ball. Eventually having two good chances in close succession. Initially Raul being played in by Jonny to put a magnificent cross across the box only for Semedo to be an inch or two behind the ball, this was the beginning of Molineux coming alive as the crowd sensed opportunities. A second chance fell to Raul after some great work by Adama to whip the ball into a dangerous area for the Mexican’s header to be palmed away by Forster.
After these two chances Tottenham were slowly coming back into the game, Wolves go to their bench again with Lopetegui brining off Nunes and Sarabia for Joao Moutinho and Cunha who returns after injury against Fulham. Nunes who again did not put in a performance worthy of his price tag and transfer interest, for me he was the worst Wolves player. I am sure we will find out what Always Wolves writer Karl thinks in the player ratings.
Wolves were still pushing now with chances for Ruben Neves who on his first forced Forster into a save where he pushed the ball over the bar and secondly Ruben’s effort just over. Another glorious chance presented itself to Wolves with Cunha being played in behind only to find the side netting. Tottenham responded with their best chance of the half since Son’s opening effort with Kane firing wide.
Finally the breakthrough was found for Wolves in the 82nd minute sending Molineux into raptures. Raul hit a great shot which was parried by Forster back to the edge of the box and on the volley Adama with a sidefooted effort hit the underside of the bar and the ball bounced in. Brilliant! A Goal for the hosts at Molineux!
Spurs made their final change after the goal bringing on Richarlison. An unwelcome sight for Wolves fans as the Brazilian has a habit of scoring against the hosts. Even with him on the pitch they failed to create a clear cut chance and Wolves had the best of the final moments. Raul scoring a great move only to be ruled offside and Adama hitting the post in a crossing attempt.
As the game fizzled out and a combination of Joao Moutinho and Adama held the ball in the corner one thing to note, as we go away to Newcastle next week it will have been over a year since a centre forward netted for Wolves. A much improved performance from Raul today provides hope the goal drought should be over soon (we can hope).
Full time, a great three points and you can see what it meant to the players and in particularly Adama to find the net as they celebrated in a group huddle.
Leaving the stadium Wolves fans will have been pleased to see the other 3pm games all going in their favour to beat the drop. Bournemouth conceding in the 97th minute to lose against Arsenal, West Ham, Crystal Palace and Leeds also all losing with the rest of the teams below Wolves yet to play this weekend.
ARTICLE BY ANDREW BENNETT
From my first Wolves match against Chelsea in 2003 I fell in love with the team and matchday experience. I work in digital marketing and have lived in Germany and Estonia over the past few years, this doesn’t stop me following Wolves and ensuring all my international friends become invested to the Wolf pack. I enjoy football, board games, a pint and travelling always excited to try new things. You will find me in the north bank on a matchday.